Condemning armed celebrations during the 88th Anniversary of Kilis’ Salvation
Mr. Turhan AYVAZ
R.T. Governor of Kilis
Governorship of Kilis
SUBJECT: Condemning armed celebrations during the 88th Anniversary of Kilis’ Salvation...
10 December 2009
We are following the media of the news about armed celebrations and statements about these celebrations which were held for the 88thanniversary of Kilis’ salvation and to which all citizens participated. We would like to draw your attention to the dangers of personal armament in terms of life and property safety; to the fact that celebration with arms is a threat to the social and human safety and it constitutes a crime.
As it is known, careless firing in public is a crime according to our laws. According to the subparagraph c of Article 170 of Turkish Criminal Law, “endangering public safety intentionally”, “destruction by using guns or explosives, in such a way to risk people’s life, health or property, is sentenced to imprisonment from six months to three years.”
If those persons fire carelessly in the streets with the aim of celebration or for other intentions, it means that they take account of the possibility of killing someone and undertake the responsibility. On this basis, we want to refer to the Article 21 of Turkish Criminal Law which regulates the concept “malice”. Paragraph 2 of the article in question reads:
(2) Execution of an act by a person being aware of its legal consequences defined in the law is considered as malice. In that case, the offender is sentenced to life imprisonment in offenses which require heavy imprisonment and to imprisonment between twenty years and twenty-five years in the offenses which require life imprisonment; in other offenses the basic punishment is abated from one third to one half.
It includes the provision written above. Having given permission to those celebrations, it served for constitution of an insecure environment. Not to mention the fact that the permission provided basis for a crime.”
In the news that took place in the media, your statement, "Firing blanks that take place during the celebrations are traditional. .... During celebrations, we had a meeting with foundation presidents and we explained them that they must be careful about firing guns even if it fires blanks in order to not endanger the public. At first, there were guns discharged in the meeting place. And then after in the parade there were more firings. Such firings were for show purpose only. The celebrations were over without any injury or incident. People want to fire guns on Independence Day even if it is blank firing gun. And we found this solution reasonable.”
It is utmost saddening from the point of “right of living” and “peace culture” that an application which allows armed celebrations and which does not care for human life is considered as “tradition” in our country. Considering “blank firing” arms as “not harmful” by this mentality is incorrect. We take this opportunity to remind you that legal arrangements in relation to blank firing guns and illegality of carrying blank firing guns were regulated in 2008; According to the Article 3 of The Law number 5729 on Firearms with Percussion and Gas Cartridges, it is forbidden to carry the guns within the meaning of law. According to the aforementioned legal arrangements blank firing guns are nearly at the same status with real pistols. Researches show that blank firing guns are dangerous firearms constituting a threat to human life.
We, as the Umut Foundation, condemn the armed celebration held during the 88th anniversary of Kilis’ salvation. As a non-governmental organization we request the esteemed Governorship’s sensitivity and for taking responsibility.
CC.: Presidency of Republic, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Interior, Head Public Prosecutor, Interior Affairs Commission, Kilis Mayor’s Office, Armed Forces Headquarters in Kilis